Author: Srimoyee Biswas
Research Coordinator, GCTC
Areas of interest: Mainly involved in research and advocacy along the lines of gender, subaltern communities, media framing, and contemporary social issues and movements.
The term embedded journalism which was coined early during the USA’s invasion of Iraq a very dimension to the concept of war was added in the field of journalism. Broadcasting on conflict zones in real-time and going forth to report live events attracted a larger crowd and caught the attention of several viewers across the globe to be involved in the process of reporting. A narrative structure soon followed to be available for the people where the broadcasting structure started to shape opinions and ideas and to the point even perceptions of people on their particular issue. In Kashmir, the influence of media in perpetuating ideas for both sides has been controversial in nature. In a 2019 paper by Ajmal Khan, it points out that several news dailies like The Dawn have coverage of Kashmir conflict which is dominated by war frames, news stories (hard news) were published more compared to other types of news materials, more stories were published on national newspapers.
Covering the issues of Kashmir has always been two-pronged with its approach. Some of the international bodies like the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has stated in a 2018 report citing, “The general trend is toward the deterioration of the working conditions of journalists covering armed conflict/resistance movements in Indian-administered Kashmir. Covering the Kashmir conflict has become more dangerous for journalists – over the years, several Kashmiri journalists have been killed and many arrested,”.
Since the passing of Burhan Wani, the well-known radical officer of the Kashmiri-based assailant group of Hizbul Mujahideen, in a 2016 shootout with the Indian military, outfitted aggressiveness in the contested district has seen another resurgence.
Accordingly, the Indian government has duplicated its enemy of uprising activities. In its first-since forever report on the circumstance in Kashmir gave in 2018, the U.N’s. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights itemized the supposed basic liberties infringement.
As indicated by the 49-page report, Indian security powers have utilized inordinate power prompting numerous regular citizen passings and injuries caused since 2016. The report likewise got down on the limitations on the privilege to the opportunity of articulation and responses against common liberties protectors and writers forced by the Indian government in the involved Kashmir.
On the other hand, the deployment of the intelligentsia has been also critical and important for both governments to ensure that any suspicious activities are monitored. As highlighted by a report published by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Asia Pacific attempted to explain the scenario. The report says the weakness of Kashmiri writers, who live in the Valley, is a lot higher than “parachute” columnists from Delhi or global channels who visit for a couple of days and leave, without any stakes in life in the Valley. The report refers to the inclusion of floods, which crushed Kashmir in 2014, for instance, saying most of the news sources from New Delhi were working from the military airbase in Srinagar. They were inserted and didn’t avoid transparently running an advertising activity for the military. It appears they were revealing for the military, and not for the flood casualties.” “An amazingly slanted picture arose, with the Indian armed force, in any case, involved in extreme basic freedoms infringement, being depicted as ‘heros’ of hapless Kashmiris. Neighborhood media and worldwide distributions, be that as it may, introduced a totally different image of the debacle and its outcome. Al Jazeera, for instance, ran an assessment piece “India transforms Kashmir flood fiasco into PR stunt”, repudiating the New Delhi-based media reports that the military had cleared a huge number of individuals from their lowered homes,” the report says.
One of the main takeaways which have been highlighted by the reporters as a means of reformation is not the bring about censorship and impose it with an iron hand, instead to revert to a more systematic approach of policymaking and by making minimum standards, salaries, and benefits mandatory and deny advertisement revenue to publications that did not comply its regulations.